[Hollywood to Anime] Like Casino Royale? Watch These Anime!

The newest “00” agent to join MI6, a secret British intelligence organization, is James Bond. His first mission involves tracking and shutting down the terrorist funding operations of one, Le Chiffre. His mission takes him to the gambling resorts of Madagascar where he enters into a high stakes poker table to ensure Le Chiffre doesn’t get the money he seeks and that he and his associates are shut down for good. Carrying a license to kill also carries with it various risks and stresses. In the spirit of the movie and the 007 franchise, we would like to recommend two anime that bring the same sort of pressure as a high stakes poker tournament with spies and terrorists.

Like Casino Royale? Watch Kakegurui (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler)

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 2017 – September 2017

Hyakkaou Private Academy is home to sons and daughters of some of the wealthiest and most powerful families in the world. In regular schools, students learn math, science, literature, and physical education, but enrollment at Hyakkaou Private Academy teaches lessons through gambling, where money and even people’s futures are put on the line in games to teach these wealthy heirs the art of strategy and deception. Among the most talented and strange is one Yumeko Jabami who doesn’t simply play for money but for the thrill of the game.

Major Similarities Between Casino Royale and Kakegurui (Kakegurui: Compulsive Gambler)

1. Gambling

As the plot of the show entails, Kakgurui involves gambling and a lot of it. In Casino Royale we see James Bond play classic games such as Texas hold'em or Blackjack. Kakegurui shows the classic games as well as fun new innovative forms of gambling introduced by the student council who rule the school and gambling operations. The creativity of the game is only limited by the sadistic imagination of the players. Nothing is off limits.

2. Torture

What is a little fun without a little danger? Just like in every James Bond film we can’t expect everything to go swimmingly, plans go awry, heroes get caught, or rules of games change, so too do things become a bit dangerous in Kakegurui. We would not fault you if you thought a good portion of the games in the series were simply one form of torture or another. While there is no scene in the anime that compares to James Bond being tied to a chair and beaten, we believe risking shooting yourself in the head or ripping out your nails if you lose a game, is in the same realm of cringe. The physical torture may not play as large a role as the sheer mental anguish and pain many characters face in their games of poker.

Like Casino Royale? Watch Death Parade

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: January 2015 – March 2015

Imagine for a moment, all is dark and then, suddenly, you find yourself stepping out of an elevator into a bar and lounge area where you are greeted by a bartender. He introduces himself as Decim, arbiter of Quindecim, the room you now stand in. You will be sent to compete in a death-defying challenge to save your own life but unbeknownst to you, you and your competitor, another person, are both already dead. What you are fighting for is not your life but your soul, teetering between the realm of reincarnation and total oblivion. This is the challenge all souls must face when they die.

Major Similarities Between Casino Royale and Death Parade

1. High Stakes

The high stakes of Casino Royale see James Bond attempting to shut down the funding of terrorist dealings. Not succeeding in his mission means putting countless lives at stake. In Death Parade, the stakes could not be higher with people putting their literal souls on the line with the winner being reincarnated and the loser entering complete and utter oblivion. Just as the high stakes of Casino Royale made for some wonderfully suspenseful and tense moments on screen, so too does Death Parade.

2. Mind Games

In a regular game of poker, mind games always play some sort of role, often in the form of bluffing to throw your opponent off their game, having them think you have a better or worse hand than you actually do. Such is the case in Casino Royale with the final games of poker that James Bond plays, attempting to bluff Le Chiffre into making a mistake. Bluffing won’t work in Death Parade. The mind games in Quindecim are of a different nature. From the very beginning, the two players who enter Quindecim don’t even know they are already dead, only that they are in a life-threatening situation where their lives are on the line. As the dangerous games progress, the arbiters attempt to create extreme circumstances that show the true colour of human beings under pressure, often uncovering memories from their past life that led to their death. As the pressure rises, the truth becomes unveiled, and what is left is a judgement of the real strength and weakness these players have shown in game and in life.

Final Thoughts

Thank you for checking out this article, we hope this got you in the mood for some mind-bending and suspenseful anime. What other anime reminds you of a bond film? Let us know in the comments.

Kakegurui-dvd-225x350 [Hollywood to Anime] Like Casino Royale? Watch These Anime!


Author: Joshua M

I’m an avid anime fan and writer born and living in Toronto, Canada. When I’m not watching or writing about anime, I write poetry and short stories. I’m currently working towards my Post-Graduate Diploma in Publishing and work in the child and youth mental health sector. I thoroughly enjoy Fantasy RPGs and other story driven games, comics, and I’m a big fan of Dungeons and Dragons.

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